Soul Of America






Cheekwood Botanical Garden; credit Nashville CVB



Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art
DESCRIPTION: Set on 55 picturesque acres of land and encompassing 10 botanical gardens, the Woodland Sculpture Trail with works by internationally known sculptors and world-class collections of American and contemporary painting and sculpture and English and American decorative arts in the museum; the museum is housed inside the original 30,000-square foot Georgian-style mansion formerly belonging to the Cheeks -- one of the city's early entrepreneurial families; the largest collection sculptures created by African American sculptor William Edmondson, hailed as one of the greatest folk carvers of the 20th Century; native of Nashville and the son of former slave parents, William Edmondson said he received an inspiration from God to chisel stone, and originally began working with a handmade chisel on limestone block discarded from demolished buildings; after carving tombstones for Nashville’s two African American cemeteries--Mt. Ararat and Greenwood—Edmondson moved on to carving primitive animals, angels and Biblical characters; his work—without formal training—was so detailed and elegant that it drew notice from Nashville’s elite and earned him a spot in a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1937

ADDRESS: 1200 Forrest Park Drive  MAP

PHONE: 615-356-8000


Greenwood Park

DESCRIPTION: In 1906, Preston Taylor established Greenwood Park adjacent to Greenwood Cemetery.  The privately owned park opened at a time when African American citizens were not permitted in public parks.  Encompassing almost 40 acres of open land, Greenwood Park included a clubhouse, theater, skating rink, roller coaster, shooting gallery, merry-go-round, and baseball park (home of the Greenwood Giants).  Taylor also maintained a track and stables at the park for the annual Colored State Fair, which brought 14,000 Blacks to the park on a single day

ADDRESS: Elm Hill Piker at Spence Lane  MAP

Hadley Park
DESCRIPTION: Established in 1912, Hadley Park is thought to be the first park built for African American citizens in the U.S; the 34-acre park stands on part of the antebellum plantation of John L. Hadley, a slave-owner committed to helping post-Civil War freed men and women adjust to their new status; at Hadley’s invitation, Frederick Douglass spoke to former slaves in 1873 from the porch of the Hadley house, which stood in this park until 1948; Tennessee State University stands on another portion of the Hadley land; during the 1930’s, the Works Progress Administration built the Hadley Park entrance gates and the McKissack & McKissack architectural firm designed the 1952 community center and swimming pool; today Hadley Park also offers baseball diamonds, tennis courts, picnic shelters, a playground and summer concerts

ADDRESS: 28th Avenue North at Centennial Blvd  MAP

Bicentennial Mall
DESCRIPTION: This state park is a 19-acre outdoor museum set at the foot of the State Capitol downtown; serving as a lasting monument to Tennessee's Bicentennial celebration, it is here that visitors and locals alike enjoy strolling among the various representations of the city and state in a beautiful, park-like setting; there is a Pathway of History, a 1,400-foot Wall of History engraved with historic events that have occurred over the past two centuries; the Tennessee Map Plaza is a 200-foot granite state map highlighting major roads, state counties and rivers, while the Railway Trestle stands as a reminder of the importance of railroading in Tennessee's history; Rivers of Tennessee Fountains contain 31 vertical water fountains, one for each of the predominant waterways in Tennessee, and the Walkway of the Counties contains a time capsule from each of Tennessee’s 95 counties; other highlights include the World War II Memorial, clusters of Tennessee flags, Civilian Conservation Corps Memorial, 2,000-seat Tennessee Amphitheater, visitor center and the gift shop

ADDRESS: 600 James Robertson Parkway  MAP

PHONE: 615-741-5280


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